Sunday, 18 November 2018

Divorce in the Digital World

Divorce in the Digital World

For many people, divorce means the end of a relationship and limited future contact with a former spouse. However, for partners with children, a romantic relationship can end but parenting is forever. In recent years, technology has eased some of the anxiety and annoyance for former spouses and future co-parents.

Working with clients throughout Long Island and Utah, I often see the strain on couples trying to make parenting arrangements when they otherwise have difficulty maintaining a civil conversation.

With almost 20 years of experience with high conflict divorce, we also see technology has become a real bonus to people struggling to do right for their children without being caught in unpleasant face-to-face discussions or phone calls.

Consider these points:

  • Email: Just as electronic mail streamlined everyday communication, the ubiquitous and free nature of email now supports most divorced couples dealing with children. Conversations formerly fraught with tension are reduced to exchange of details and attention to practical matters.  Also used between parent and child, email provides a private setting to make plans, air complaints or promote conversation between family members.
  • Texts: Similar to email in reducing emotionally loaded conversations, texting offers a means to deliver immediate updates and information without the necessity of phone calls. Texts are also another great way to provide quick, instant support for your child.
  • Calendaring: Online calendar apps allow parents to share calendars with minimal interaction. More information and less interaction often make for a better coordinated and happier custodial environment.

Software to assist high conflict couples deal with visitation, expenses and other issues continues to evolve and allows parents to enjoy greater distance from each other ¾ without forcing that distance on their children.

Concerns of Later Life Divorce

Divorce at any age is stressful, destabilizing and often economically difficult. But a divorce that comes after many years of marriage, at a time when most couples are thinking of retiring, is especially difficult emotionally and financially.

In March of this year, a study from the National Center for Family Life and Marriage Research reported the divorce rate of couples over age 50 doubled between 1990 and 2010. Looking for real love — or simply tired of disconnected relationships — many baby boomers no longer fear living single.

If you are an older American thinking about divorce, you need to consider the unique issues you face and position yourself accordingly during divorce negotiations. These points should be considered:

  • Give the divorce process its due. If you’ve been married for decades, take some time to consider finances and other issues carefully, even though you or your spouse may be aching to be free. Strategically, you can negotiate more easily with a nonhostile spouse. Try to keep things friendly and fair but make sure you have top-notch legal counsel who understands your economic condition.
  • Think about assets. Consider whether either of you really needs to keep the house. What about Social Security benefits and other insurance and retirement accounts? With fewer years to rebuild your retirement nest egg, you need to make protecting and maintaining wealth for retirement an important issue in a later life divorce.
  • Understand your debt and your budget. Make clear agreements and arrangements to retire debt so that your quality of life doesn’t suffer if you divorce later in life.

Free Consultation with Divorce Attorney

If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Environmental Laws

Environmental Law

Laws protecting our shared waterways, air, trees and other natural resources are meant to ensure a more sustainable future for generations to come. While environmental laws may seem burdensome to small business owners, just remember that your competitors also must abide by them. This section broadly covers environmental laws pertaining to businesses, with articles on indoor and outdoor air pollution, identifying and disposing of hazardous waste, overviews of federal environmental protection laws, and more.

Overview: Key Federal Environmental Laws

There are an array of federal laws relating to the protection of the environment and the health and safety of U.S. residents. In addition to the following major federal regulations dealing with the environment there are additional laws at the federal, state, and local levels that also regulate business’s environmental impacts. However, the preeminent federal laws are:

    • The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) – addresses the handling of uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites, accidents, spills, and other emergency releases of pollutants or contaminants into the environment.
    • The Emergency Planning & Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) – provides assistance to local communities in protecting the public health, safety, and environment from chemical hazards.
    • The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) – addresses issues relating to the quality and safety of drinking water.
    • The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) – reauthorized CERCLA to continue efforts to clean-up hazardous waste abandonments, spills, and releases.
    • The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) – allows for the testing, regulation, and screening of all chemicals produced or imported into the U.S. before they reach the consumer market place.
    • The Endangered Species Act – is intended to protect and assist in the repopulation of threatened or endangered plants, animals, and animal habitats.
    • The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) – regulates the sale, distribution, and use of pesticides for the protection of human life and health as well as the life and health of threatened and endangered species.
    • The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) – ensures that the government researches and properly considers the environmental impact of federal actions such as large construction projects.
    • The Clean Air Act – sets goals for clean air and contains detailed provisions for regulating emissions from various different sources.
    • The Clean Water Act – makes it unlawful for any person or business to discharge any pollutant from a source point into navigable waters of the United States without a special permit from the EPA.
  • The Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA) – requires employers to provide their workers with a safe workplace.
  • The Pollution Prevention Act – seeks to reduce the amount of pollution in the environment by making changes in the production, operation, and use of raw materials.
  • The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) – authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to control the generation, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste.

What is Hazardous Waste?

Many of the environmental regulations involve the creation, handling, and disposal of hazardous waste. Waste is generally considered hazardous if it is ignitable, corrosive, reactive, or contains a certain amount of toxic chemicals. The EPA maintains a list of some 500 specific hazardous wastes. Hazardous waste may be disposed of on-site or elsewhere on an off-site disposal facility. In either case recordkeeping must be scrupulous so that future tenants on lands are aware of contamination and disposal.

Free Consultation with a Utah Environmental Law Lawyer

If you are here, you probably have a business law issue regarding environmental laws you need help with, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506


How to Spot a Ponzi Scheme

How to Spot a Ponzi Scheme

A Ponzi scheme is an investment fraud that pays existing investors with funds collected from new investors. Ponzi scheme organizers often promise to invest your money and generate high returns with little or no risk. But in many Ponzi schemes, the fraudsters do not invest the money. Instead, they use it to pay those who invested earlier and may keep some for themselves.

With little or no legitimate earnings, Ponzi schemes require a constant flow of new money to survive. When it becomes hard to recruit new investors, or when large numbers of existing investors cash out, these schemes tend to collapse.

Ponzi schemes are named after Charles Ponzi, who duped investors in the 1920s with a postage stamp speculation scheme.

Ponzi scheme “red flags”

Many Ponzi schemes share common characteristics. Look for these warning signs:

  • High returns with little or no risk.Every investment carries some degree of risk, and investments yielding higher returns typically involve more risk. Be highly suspicious of any “guaranteed” investment opportunity.
  • Overly consistent returns.Investments tend to go up and down over time. Be skeptical about an investment that regularly generates positive returns regardless of overall market conditions.
  • Unregistered investments.Ponzi schemes typically involve investments that are not registered with the SEC or with state regulators. Registration is important because it provides investors with access to information about the company’s management, products, services, and finances.
  • Unlicensed sellers.Federal and state securities laws require investment professionals and firms to be licensed or registered. Most Ponzi schemes involve unlicensed individuals or unregistered firms.
  • Secretive, complex strategies.Avoid investments if you don’t understand them or can’t get complete information about them.
  • Issues with paperwork.Account statement errors may be a sign that funds are not being invested as promised.
  • Difficulty receiving payments.Be suspicious if you don’t receive a payment or have difficulty cashing out. Ponzi scheme promoters sometimes try to prevent participants from cashing out by offering even higher returns for staying put.

The Market Impact of the SEC’s Conflict Rule

In 2010, Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Act, which directs the Commission to issue rules requiring certain companies to disclose their use of conflict minerals if those minerals are “necessary to the functionality or production of a product” manufactured by those companies. Under the Act, those minerals include tantalum, tin, gold or tungsten.

Congress enacted Section 1502 of the Act because of concerns that the exploitation and trade of conflict minerals by armed groups is helping to finance conflict in the DRC region and is contributing to an emergency humanitarian crisis. Section 1502 of the Act amends the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 to add Section 13(p).

The Conflict Rule

The final rule applies to a company that uses minerals including tantalum, tin, gold or tungsten if:

  • The company files reports with the SEC under the Exchange Act.
  • The minerals are “necessary to the functionality or production” of a product manufactured or contracted to be manufactured by the company.

The final rule requires a company to provide the disclosure on a new form to be filed with the SEC (Form SD).

Measuring the Efficacy of the Regulations

A 2014 Tulane University Law School study investigating the market impact of the conflict minerals rule reveals that each company that filed a Form SD (Special Disclosure Report) invested an average of approximately $546,000 worth of time and effort to comply with the law – largely consisting of in-house corporate time, external human resources, an IT evaluation and IT system expenses. Small issuers spent approximately 1/3rd as much as a large issuer counterpart (small issuer is less than $100 million in revenue).  In the aggregate, companies reportedly incurred a total of approximately $710 million to establish conflict minerals programs to furnish the required information by the law’s June 2, 2014 deadline.

As noted by the folks over at, companies that participated in the survey most frequently cited these reservations about the rule:

– The law renders affected companies less competitive due to the heavy cost burden
– It is unlikely the desired impact is being achieved in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
– The law is unfair in that it is trying to fight a war in the business world with only public companies
– The SEC is not intended as a regulator of social responsibility

FINRA Offers Advice for Investors

While most Americans understand the importance of saving and investing, many do not possess the basic financial knowledge needed to make sound financial decisions, according to a recent study released by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation (FINRA Foundation).

A series of financial literacy questions in the FINRA Foundation’s 2016 National Financial Capability Study revealed that more than half of all Americans surveyed, 54 percent, could not tell which was riskier—investing in a single stock or investing in a mutual fund.

As part of its ongoing investor-education efforts, FINRA has issued an Investor Alert to help investors understand the different types of orders that can be used when making a trade. In general, understanding order types can help investors prioritize their needs, manage risk, speed execution and provide price improvement. Knowing how various orders work and the risks associated with them can be particularly useful at a time when economic and political events domestically and abroad can lead to increased market volatility.

“Understanding the benefits and risks of various types of orders can help investors avoid unintended losses and better ensure trades are executed in a timely manner and at a price with which the investor is comfortable,” said Gerri Walsh, Senior Vice President of FINRA’s Office of Investor Education. “Knowledge is key in helping investors make careful choices to best fit their financial needs and goals.”

The Alert explains that investors have the power to exercise some control over price and timing by choosing the type of order placed. It describes the three main categories of order types: market orders, limit orders and stop orders, and the different forms these orders can take when enhanced with time restrictions and other conditions. The Alert also provides tips on the risks involved with different types of orders. For example, the Alert cautions that stop orders, once triggered, become market orders so, during volatile market conditions, these orders may be executed at prices significantly above or below the “stop price” the investor sets. Like other market orders, the order is guaranteed to be executed fully and promptly at the current market price, but the investor may not like the price he or she gets in a fast-moving market.

“You cannot predict when periods of market volatility will hit, so it is often best to decide what is most important to you based on your investment goals and objectives, whether it be price or making a trade at a specified time,” Walsh said.

Free Initial Consultation with a Securities Lawyer

When you need help with FINRA, the SEC, or other securities issues — like ponzi schemes, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Friday, 16 November 2018

Domestic Partners

Domestic Partners

Domestic partnerships offer non-married couples many of the same legal benefits allowed to married couples. Domestic partnerships often offer benefits related to health insurance, life insurance, death benefits, sick and family leave, and state tax treatment, to name a few. Not all states recognize domestic partnerships. States that do often have differences in the details. These differences can affect how employers must treat domestic partners, as well as who is eligible. Learn more by exploring the resources below, including basics on benefits for domestic partners, how to end a domestic partnership, and state specific information.

What Is a Domestic Partnership?

Sometimes called a “civil union,” domestic partnership is not the same thing as a marriage, but it provides many of the same benefits. Domestic partnerships were most common among same-sex couples during the period in which same-sex marriage was not available in many states. Changes in the law have made same-sex marriage available in every state, so it seems likely that there will be a decline in the number of domestic partnerships in the coming years.

Benefits of Domestic Partnership

Some important benefits conveyed by a domestic partnership include:

  • Eligibility for family health insurance policies
  • Right to family leave for a sick partner
  • Right to bereavement leave
  • Visitation rights in hospitals and prisons

There may be significant variation by state. California, for example, provides the same benefits and protections to domestic partners as they do to married couples. In Maryland couples can enter into a “designated beneficiary agreement” that provides limited rights such as permitting hospital visitation.

Since the legalization of same-sex marriage, however, many forms of domestic partnership may be eliminated since they are no longer necessary. There may also be an expansion or contraction of the rights recognized under these partnerships.

Ending a Domestic Partnership

Domestic partnerships are dissolved in a process equivalent to divorce. Dissolution proceedings return you and your partner to the status that existed prior to entering into the domestic partnership. State domestic partnership laws vary greatly depending on the state. These laws determine the precise time, method, and manner by which domestic partnerships are ended. Where not determined by the partnership agreement, the court may decide financial, property, and family matters. This includes decisions about maintenance, parenting arrangements, child support, property division, and other aspects of a relationship commonly addressed in divorce proceedings.

Procedurally, domestic partnership termination may terminate automatically when one partner gives the other notice that the partnership is terminated, when one of the partners dies or marries, or when the domestic partners cease to share a common residence. One may file a termination with the appropriate authority (usually the Secretary of State or County Clerk) or by petitioning the court.

Simplified processes may be unavailable, however. If there is dispute about debts, obligations, or assets then court oversight may be necessary and desirable. Children born or adopted into a relationship may also prevent expedited termination since, in many jurisdictions; the court will wish to ensure that the best interests of the child are served.

Free Initial Consultation with a Domestic Partnership Lawyer

If you need help with a domestic partnership, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Copyright Enforcement

Copyright Enforcement

Original, creative works that are fixed in a tangible form are protected under Title 17 of the U.S. Code protects. The medium of expression can include paper, canvas, or audio or video tape. Copyright protects original forms of expression, including works in literature, film, art, music, sculpture, choreography, architecture, and software programs. A copyright holder has the right to distribute, reproduce, display, make derivatives, or perform the work in public. A copyright owner may seek enforcement of this right if violated by an infringer.

Who is the owner of a copyright?

The owner of a copyright is the individual or the individuals that created the work. However, the following circumstances change ownership:

  • The copyright was sold to another person or a company.
  • The work was “made for hire.”
  • An independent contractor was hired to create the work.

How long does copyright protection last?

Copyright protection begins the moment the creation of an original work occurs in a tangible form. For works published after 1977, protection applies for the following term:

  • For 70 years after the death of the author
  • For 70 years after the death of the last surviving author of a joint work
  • For 95 years from the date of publication or 120 years from creation if the work was made for hire by an employee or an independent contractor

Do I need to register my work with the U.S. Copyright Office?

Although it is unnecessary to register a work with the U.S. Copyright Office for protection to apply, a timely registration enhances an owner’s legal remedies. Under the Copyright Act, an owner of a published work can collect up to $150,000 in statutory damages and may be entitled to attorney fees for the enforcement action if the registration of the published work occurred within three months after the first publication date or before the infringement occurs. An owner of an unpublished work is entitled to the same remedies if the registration of the work occurs before the infringement.

How do I register a copyrightable work?

An applicant can register a basic copyright claim with the U.S. Copyright Office through the mail or online. Basic claims include literary works, visual arts works, performing arts works, sound recordings, and single serials

Is a copyright notice required for protection and enforcement?

Works published prior to March 1, 1989 were required to contain a valid copyright notice to receive protection. Under current copyright law this is unnecessary, but notice does increase the likelihood of a claimant winning a copyright infringement lawsuit and makes it easier for others to ascertain the owner. A valid copyright notice should include the word “copyright,” the symbol ©, the date of publication, and the author or owner of the work.

Someone has infringed on my copyright. How do I enforce my legal rights?

The owner of a copyright can file a copyright enforcement lawsuit against the infringer in federal court. If successful, the owner may be entitled to a restraining order or injunction to stop the infringement, monetary damages, and attorney fees.

A copyright infringer can create a legal defense by claiming the following:

  • The doctrine of fair use applies;
  • The statute of limitations prevents the lawsuit;
  • The infringer obtained a license from the owner;
  • The infringer was unaware of the copyright status of the work (innocent infringer);
  • The infringer did not rely on the copyrighted work.

What international laws protect copyright?

Copyright protection for original, creative works enjoy worldwide protection through international treaties. The Berne Convention applies to nationals of member countries. The treaty affords automatic protection to authors for their life plus 50 years. GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) also provides copyright protection to the authors of member countries.

Free Consultation with a Utah Trademark Lawyer

If you are here, you probably have a trademark issue you need help with, call Ascent Law for your free intellectual property law consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Thursday, 15 November 2018

What are the Grounds for Divorce in Utah?

What are the Grounds for Divorce in Utah

The state of Utah allows residents to divorce their spouse through either a no-fault or fault-based divorce. If you are aiming to get a divorce in Utah, it can be helpful to understand how no-fault divorce laws affect your situation and what possible grounds for divorce you may use.

No-fault divorce

Utah has started allowing couples to seek a no-fault divorce from their spouse. Under Utah law, a no-fault divorce means that the couple’s relationship has broken down and that there is no potential for the two spouses to reconcile. To enter into a no-fault divorce in Utah, one spouse must state under oath that their marriage has been irreparably broken for a minimum of six months.

In a no-fault divorce, members of a couple are still responsible for working through the division of their property, custodial rights and all other issues before a divorce is granted.

Fault-based divorce

In a fault-based divorce, either member of the couple can seek to end their marriage for four main reasons. First, you may allege that your partner was physically or mentally abusive and created an unsafe or inadequate environment for the couple to continue being married. Second, you may claim that your partner abandoned you for a minimum of one year.

Third, your partner may be incarcerated for a minimum of three, consecutive years during the course of your marriage. Finally, you may allege that your partner was unfaithful to you and committed adultery. Before a divorce can be granted for any of these reasons, it must be proven that the alleged transgression took place.

In addition to these claims, a couple may also file for divorce if they have been legally separated. In this case, one member of the marriage must prove that the couple lived apart for a minimum of one year in accordance with a court-ordered or otherwise formally written agreement of separation.

When is Legal Separation a Viable Option?

When married couples decide to part ways, there are options outside of divorce that provide a legally recognized “break” in a marriage. Legal separation offers a way for couples to live separately while remaining legally married.

For couples that experience difficulties in their marriage, but don’t believe divorce is right for them, there are several reasons to consider legal separation. A common reason couples choose to separate is that their religious affiliation does not allow for or is morally opposed to divorce. Couples may also decide to legally separate because they find it to be a less stressful solution to their marital problems, or because they would like time apart to consider if there is a chance to reconcile their marriage.

Additionally, couples may choose to separate because staying married affords them certain benefits that would terminate if they got divorced. For example, a spouse may wish to remain legally married to continue being covered under their partner’s insurance policy. Also, couples may wish to stay married to their spouse because they would like to maintain their eligibility for Social Security benefits. Furthermore, couples may also be elect for legal separation for financial reasons such as keeping a tax or other benefit afforded to you as a married couple.

After a couple separates, if it is necessary for one spouse to provide for the other financially, separate maintenance may be applicable to your situation. Separate maintenance is similar to alimony, but allows the couple to remain married. Factors that go into deciding separate maintenance payments are akin to those used for determining alimony and may include income, earning ability, age and duration of marriage.

Free Consultation with a Divorce Attorney

If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Will Your Contract Be Enforced Under Utah Law?

Will Your Contract Be Enforced Under Utah Law

If you are involved in a business agreement, one of the first things to determine is whether the promise or agreement at issue will be considered an enforceable contract under the law. While contracts usually involve promises to do something (or refrain from doing something), not all promises are contracts. How does the law determine which promises are enforceable contracts and which are not?

Is the Agreement a Contract?

In a dispute, the court must initially determine whether the agreement constitutes a contract or not. In order for an agreement to be considered a valid contract, one party must make an offer and the other party must accept it. There must be a bargained for exchange of promises, meaning that something of value must be given in return for a promise (called “consideration”). In addition, the terms of a contract must be sufficiently defined for a court to enforce them.

Enforcement and Contract Defenses

If a court determines that a contract exists, it must decide whether that contract should be enforced. There are a number of reasons why a court might not enforce a contract, called defenses to the contract, which are designed to protect people from unfairness in the bargaining process, or in the substance of the contract itself.

If there is a valid defense to a contract, it may be voidable, meaning the party to the contract who was the victim of the unfairness may be able to cancel or revoke the contract. In some instances, the unfairness is so extreme that the contract is considered void, in other words, a court will declare that no contract was ever formed. What are some of the reasons a court might refuse to enforce a contract?

Capacity to Contract

In order to be bound by a contract, a person must have the legal ability to form a contract in the first place, called capacity to contract. A person who is unable, due to age or mental impairment, to understand what she is doing when she signs a contract may lack capacity to contract. For example, a person under legal guardianship due to a mental defect completely lacks the capacity to contract. Any contract signed by that person is void.

A minor generally cannot form an enforceable contract. A contract entered into by a minor may be canceled by the minor or their guardian. After reaching the age of majority (18 in most states), a person still has a reasonable period of time to cancel a contract entered into as a minor. If the contract is not canceled within a reasonable period of time (determined by state law), it will be considered ratified, making it binding and enforceable.

Courts are usually not very sympathetic to people who claim they were intoxicated when they signed a contract. Generally a court will only allow the contract to be voided if the other party to the contract knew about the intoxication and took advantage of the person, or if the person was somehow involuntarily drugged.

Undue Influence, Duress, Misrepresentation

Coercion, threats, false statements, or improper persuasion by one party to a contract can void the contract. The defenses of duress, misrepresentation, and undue influence address these situations:

    • Duress: A party must show that assent or agreement to the contract was induced by a serious threat of unlawful or wrongful action, and that she had no reasonable alternative but to agree to the contract.
    • Undue Influence: Undue influence is often defined as unfair persuasion by a person who, because of his or her relation to the victim, is justifiably assumed by the victim to be one who will not act in a manner that is inconsistent with the victim’s welfare.
    • Misrepresentation: A misrepresentation may be a false statement of fact; the deliberate withholding of information which a party has a duty to disclose; or an action that conceals a fact (for example, painting over water damage when selling a house).


The unconscionability defense is concerned with the fairness of both the process of contract formation and the substantive terms of the contract. When the terms of a contract are oppressive or when the bargaining process or resulting terms shock the conscience of the court, the court may strike down the contract as unconscionable.

A court will look at a number of factors in determining if a contract is unconscionable. If there is a gross inequality of bargaining power, so the weaker party to the contract has no meaningful choice as to the terms, and the resulting contract is unreasonably favorable to the stronger party, there may be a valid claim of unconscionability. A court will also look at whether one party is uneducated or illiterate, whether that party had the opportunity to ask questions or consult an attorney, and whether the price of the goods or services under the contract is excessive.

Public Policy and Illegality

Rather than protecting the parties to a contract as other contract defenses do, the defenses of illegality and violation of public policy seek to protect the public welfare and the integrity of the courts by refusing to enforce certain types of contracts.  Contracts to engage in illegal or immoral conduct would not be enforced by the courts.


In order to cancel a contract for mistake, both parties must have made a mistake as to a basic assumption on which the contract was based, the mistake must have a material effect upon the agreed exchange, and must relate to facts existing at the time the contract is made. In addition, the party seeking to avoid the contract must not have contractually assumed the risk of mistake.

Parties sometimes attempt to claim mistake as a defense to a contract when they have failed to read the contract and later become aware of terms they dislike. Failure to read the contract is not a defense. A person who signs a contract is presumed to know what it says, and is bound to the terms she would have known about, had she read the contract.

Free Consultation with a Business Lawyer

If you are here, you probably have a business law issue you need help with, call Ascent Law for your free business law consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506